Monday, April 06, 2009

Church Choir "Wises Up," Questions Role in the Passion Reading

( < Choir, bottom right)

St. Louis, MO: Ss. Agatha and Lucy Catholic Church nearly saw a meltdown of the traditional reading of St. John's Passion this past Sunday, as the choir director began to question publicly why the musicians got assigned the part of the rabid crowd every year.

John Degnan, choir director, said that the situation reeked of "subtle discrimination against those of courage and perfect pitch."  He continued:  "It's just that every year, being forced to shout out 'Crucify him!  Crucify him!' begins to wear on a group's self-image," he says.  "It's hard on our tender egos.  Also, it strains our vocal cords for the upcoming Eucharistic parts."

Other choir members were similarly uncomfortable with the role of killing an innocent man sent by God to save them.  "It's just not right," soprano Elisa Cartwright said.  "Honestly, I think that those words ought to be said by a computer generated voice and projected or something.  I mean, who wants to say them aloud?  We're not about all that."

Pianist Joellen Jordan agreed it was quite uncomfortable.  "We're a choir, for pity's sake.  We're all about singing 'Were you there when they crucified my Lord?'  Everyone knows--we're on Jesus' side.  This is just confusing."

The pastor of the parish, Fr. Michael Challon, smiled at the controversy and said "God bless them all.  But you know, I get to die on a cross every Passion Sunday, and yet, I manage."



Steve T. said...

I really hope you made this up.

Sarah (JOT) said...

But, really, some folks might not want to say those words even if we are saying them in our choices every day. It stinks to have to face the fact that we all crucified Him with our not dying to ourselves, not repenting, not availing ourselves to the Sacraments . . . there are so many things we do and don't do that are nailing Christ firmly to the cross. Lord, have mercy.

Meredith Gould said...

So you interviewed folks in my choir? I don't recognize the names.

Connie said...

This just seems strange. I'm in a Catholic Choir and we have never been asked to say that part by ourselves, but actually we all do because in every Catholic Church I've ever been in on Palm Sunday(and that's been a lot as I'm the spouse of a Navy retiree)the congregation is asked to say those parts (including the choir). In fact, it makes sense as we enter Holy Week that it is brought to mind that we are all responsible for Christ's death due to our sins. I can't imagine objecting.

Galactic Catholic said...

Believable, this is the same city where I found this video:

ann said...

The churches I've been to here in Germany actually don't have the congregation read the multiple voice lines and I think there is something missing.